When Canberra-based electronic producer Reuben Ingall and poet / writer / performance artist David Finnigan released their collaborative album ‘Kill Climate Deniers’ , a fusion of leftfield electronics and conceptual theatre back in 2016, they possibly had no idea of the kneejerk response that the title would provoke from sections of the more conservative populace outraged that the ACT government would fund such a creative undertaking.
Two years on, this download-only remix collection ‘The Bolted Report: Special Edition’ takes its inspiration from conservative commentator Andrew Bolt’s outraged response to the album on his show ‘The Bolt Report’, as well as the numerous blog posts from Bolt’s online followers that accompanied it. As a remix collection, it manages the feat of being far more ‘meta’ in that respect than most releases of its type.
Rather than being a remix album in the true sense of the word, this collection feels a bit more like one of those maxi-singles stacked with reworkings from back in the day, with the nine tracks here primarily focusing on remixes of ‘Bolted’. In its original mix form ‘Bolted’ sees places what sound like TV journalists reading out the various blog posts out verbatim against a deceptively placid sounding backdrop of house beats and melodic piano riffs, the upbeat dance-y feel counterpointing the straight-out menace and vitriol of the posts.
Indeed, the final outro quote “I think if a war starts, a lot of eco-activists will be killed. That’s just my opinion”, easily offers one of the most chilling moments here, as well as capturing the rapid progression from decrying the supposed endorsement of eco-related violence in the album’s title, to suggesting resolutions that are even more violent.
The numerous remixes on offer here also manage to cast many interesting angles on the original track, with EMF’s James Atkin representing the unexpected wildcard here with a ravey electro reworking that sends hi-NRG melodic synths skipping against streamlined beats, sheeny synth sweeps and occasional shouts of “unbelievable”, while elsewhere the aptly titled ‘FUKD & BOMBD’ mix scatters ‘Brasseye’ samples in liberally amidst a forlorn backdrop of icy melodic arrangements and pulsing electro rhythms that gradually builds up into layered grandeur and thundering live drums – it’s easily the biggest sounding moment on offer here.
Perhaps the most intriguingly unexpected offering here comes from former B(if)tek member Nicole Skeltys and Robin Hemmings ‘Tumbleweeds (After Tumblr Dot Com)’, who depart from the sheeny futuristic surrounds to instead unleash a wander out into gauzy electro-country that sees buzzing analogue synths and harmonicas merging with Hemmings’ own yearning vocals. In short, ‘The Bolted Report: Special Edition’ is both dark and funny as hell.